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Archive for August 10th, 2014

Big changes are planned for the Peru CSO picnic

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2014

A group of men sit around a table playing cards while another group play horseshoes. Draft beers are cheap enough to buy with spare change and pair well with a cup of mulligan stew or a fresh lunch meat sandwich. For years that was a Peru Citizen Service Organization Picnic.

Their 81st picnic is Sunday but for many women and children it will be their first. As CSO member Jack Landgraf explains they’re moving it from St. Bede Academy to Peru’s Centennial Park, changing the menu and opening it up to the family.

The picnic for years had been a stag but Landgraf says times have changed and they need to make their functions open to all citizens.

Landgraf says the picnic will be similar to one that was held during the city’s 175th celebration. You’ll be able to compete in bags and horseshoe tournaments. Children will have their own games and a bouncy house and CSO members will be grilling hamburgers and hot dogs. The mulligan stew pot, Landgraf says, is out of commission this year.

Coupled with the picnic is the Illinois Valley Rodders’ car show. The car show is from 9am-3pm and the picnic is from 12pm-7pm.

What hasn’t changed is the cause. The CSO uses the picnic to raise money for city projects such as hanging Christmas lights.

You can learn more about the history of the Peru CSO picnic by listening to an interview that’s available at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Annual walk to remember overdose victims planned for Baker Lake

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2014

In a couple of weeks you’ll see a crowd of people in matching shirts holding balloons and ribbons as they take a lap around Peru’s Baker Lake. It will be a public way of starting an often times uncomfortable conversation about drug addiction and death.

The Third Annual Overdose Awareness Walk is the work of Lori Brown. Brown’s son Justin Pratt died from a heroin overdose five years ago. Brown and a friend started the walk so other people could find support while they grieve.  Approximately 400 people participated in the walk last year.

The walk is at 10am Saturday, August 23 at Baker Lake in Peru. If you’re interested in walking or remembering someone, T-shirts are on sale and photos are being accepted for a memory board. Your loved one’s name will also be included in a memory list.

Learn more about the walk by listening to an interview that available at the WLPO AM and FM news page.

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Wenona hair salon destroyed in fire

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2014

Everyone was having a festive time during Wenona Days until a fire broke out.

A 9-1-1 call came around 1:30 Sunday morning for a fire at a building housing an apartment and the Making Waves Salon in Wenona. The building is a complete loss but firefighters from across the Illinois Valley were able to prevent damage to the nearby Wenona Ambulance Station.

No one was hurt. The cause of the fire is under investigation but its not considered to be anything suspicious.

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Semi crash on I-80 kills a driver

Posted by wlpo on August 10, 2014

A truck driver was killed before dawn Sunday when his  truck tractor hit  an eastbound semi on westbound Interstate 80 near Ottawa.

Illinois State Police Master Sergeant Anthony  Kestner says it occured just before 4am,  2 miles west of  Marseilles.  44-year-old Dung Nguyen of Antioch, California, was heading east when he crossed the median into the path of a westbound semi.

The driver of that semi was flown to a Dupage county hospital, where he was  pronounced dead. His name will be released pending notification of relatives.
Dung Nguyen was ticketed for improper lane usage  and going slower than the minimum speed.  Nguyen and his passenger,  55-year-old Andrew Nguyen were taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Westbound I-80 was closed between Marseilles and Route 71 exits for about five hours.


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